Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commiteth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
In 1 John 3:7-10, John highlights a truth that has existed since the beginning. We have to go all the way back to the creation account to find it, but let’s go there anyway. Genesis 1-3 reads as the introductory part of the grand text of Scripture. In this pinnacle text all of the key players of history are assigned characteristics that they live by for the rest of the book.
Character One (in His Autobiography) - God
He shows up in the story as the One Who is in control. He tells the truth. As a matter of fact, He is the only One Who tells the truth. Because He only tells the truth, He told Adam that if Adam sinned, death would be the result. That is truth. Justice…sure, but in a deeper sense, that is truth from the mouth of an only true God.
Character Two – Man
He assumes the dependent role. He must rely on the Providence of a Sovereign God. He must trust the truth provided by the only Wise God. Without faith he is hopeless and helpless. Without a relationship with the massive Creator, the man has no purpose in the story.
Character Three – Satan
From His introduction in the beginning he is breathing a perversion of God’s truth, deceiving with every vile breath. He lies and corrupts the truth. He says that death will not be the result of disobedience. He knew the truth, yet sought to destroy the man with his lies.
The story ensues, and because he lacked faith, the man was cursed in his disobedience. As you read the story carefully, you will find that the only One in the story Who tried to help the man was God. Man rejected Him, and faced the promised consequence, not simply as punishment, but in a much deeper sense as the forewarned outcome. Satan, the deceiver had accomplished his devastating work of destroying the relationship between man and the Creator. Just when the story seems to be one of tragedy, God, the One Who only tells the truth and has man’s best interests at heart, makes one more promise.
Character Four – The Promised One (Messiah)
One day the evil work of Satan will be undone and Satan himself will be destroyed. A promised one would come and bring salvation from the curse that Satan cunningly devised to capitalize on the lusts of man.
Satan deceives and offers hurt. It has always been this way. God lovingly only offers truth, and a meaningful life inside of that truth.
Food For Thought: Who are the four key characters of history? Which one only seeks destruction through lies? Which one(s) seek to liberate and offer hope with truth?